I just read a news article about a Korean man of my age who died after playing an online game on the computer for over 10 days without pause.
It seems Koreans are the world's most fanatic online gamers. MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) seem to be extremely popular and many young or even not-so-young people are already addicted. I was asking myself again: Why is that? I'm not against playing on the computer for recreation, but it can become sinful very quickly, depending on the content of the game and the amount of time you spent (waste) with it. Why are Koreans who consider themselves to be the frontline of Christianity so obsessed with playing online games?
Also, I have another question. Since the Koreans seem to be so uniform with an extremely high population density I can understand they always dream of doing something extraordinary and becoming great and outstanding people (one of the hidden motivations of Korean UBF missionaries and the reason why it is so attractive). But I read an article (see below) saying they like to play games where they are again only an insignificant ant in a vast group with a strict hierarchy. What's so attractive about that?
Another thought I had was that UBF is also a kind of "virtual" universe. They don't care what UBF really is, but they imagine something like "God's ministry for this generation" and they dream up many legends about their leaders and their past (and future) which do not fit reality. Reality does not count for them, they avoid reality checks. If a leader says something, it is taken as a fact and never checked, even if it is contradictory in itself. All that counts is what they believe to be true, not what is really true. So the whole UBF is a big illusion, just like a MMORPG.
Here is the article I was referring to:http://mcel.pacificu.edu/as/students/korea/culture-gaming.html
Some interesting quotes:
"Games of this type require extensive social interaction. However, Lineage differs from its U.S. counter parts. It has Confucian characteristics in that when you create your in-game character he/she has an unchangeable hierarchy and rank. Korean players have no difficulty accepting being a servant or follower, whereas the majority of American MMORPG players want to be the hero."
"To international gamers South Korea has become something of a Mecca."
"Crimes such as hacking others’ accounts, stealing online ids and the fraudulent sale of online weapons are so commonplace that the police have started a cybercrimes unit. It appears that in online gaming, crime as well as in simple socializing transcends the virtual into the real world.
Online gaming is South Korea is a unique phenomenon. No other place is the world is so wired, or has such a large game-playing population base, or treats their best gamers as star athletes. The dramatic rise in gaming has brought increased economic opportunities to the country and international notoriety. The culture of game playing has had a negative effect on some South Koreans, however, as gaming addicts lose touch with the real world. The net effect of this rapid growth in gaming and internet usage will be positive or negative remains to be seen."